Health risks of microblading eyebrows

The Chartered Institute of Environmental Health are issuing a warning on the health risks of having eyebrows microbladed.

Microblading eyebrowsMicroblading is a form of tattooing using a row of fine needles which makes up the blade. By dipping the blade into a coloured pigment (ink) and placing into the upper layer of the skin with a slicing motion it creates fine hair like strokes. The results are natural looking fuller eyebrows.

As the microblading procedure involves puncturing the skin and inserting a pigment (ink) there are risks. Risks can occur if the microblading equipment is re-used between clients. As equipment will become contaminated and can result in causing localised infection at the site of the puncture. It could lead to the transmission of blood-borne viruses, such as Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C or HIV. The pigment, numbing cream and ointments may cause an allergic reaction. There is also the risk of scarring from repeated microblading procedures.

If you have had your eyebrows microbladed recently you should look out for common symptoms of infection. Symptoms to look out for are, fever, swelling, tenderness, yellow/green/brown colour discharge or an off-putting smell. If you experience any of the above symptoms, please seek medical advice. You can report your concerns to the Food, Health and Safety Team email: or telephone 01768 212491.

There is no mandatory, legally-required training for people offering microblading treatments. However, since microblading is an invasive procedure, technicians offering microblading treatments should have some level of knowledge and experience in infection prevention and control (IPC) procedures associated with the treatment.

The Chartered Institute of Environmental Health offer the following advice on how to find a salon using safe microblading practices.

  • Choose a business which holds a licence and / or beauty treatments registration. Businesses display their licence or registration certificate as the laws requires them to. They must also display local area byelaws if these apply.

  • Research the business online, go to their website, see if they have social media accounts. To see if anyone has posted a comment about poor hygiene or infection following a procedure.

  • Salons must arrange a patch test with you, 48 hours before a treatment. This will test whether you have an allergy to any of the pigments or inks.

  • A good salon will ask you to complete a health questionnaire. They may ask you in for a consultation before the treatment. This is to minimise any adverse health effects.

They also suggest making visible checks when you visit the salon.

  • When you visit for a patch test or consultation ask to see where they carry out procedures. It should be in an enclosed, dedicated space away from the public and other beauty treatments. There should be a good standard of cleanliness. The microblading equipment and treatment bed should be in a good condition.

  • On the day of your treatment pay attention to how the technician sets up their work station. It should be on a clean, clutter free trolley or work surface and already laid out before the procedure.

  • Check the mircoblading blade and hand tool is pre-packaged, single use and sterile. After the treatment the technician should discard the blade into a yellow sharps bin. To protect against infections technicians should clean and disinfect scissors, tweezers and callipers. They should store equipment in suitable clean containers. Pencils used for marking the skin are single use only.

  • Check technician washes their hand before the put on their gloves and start the procedure. Check they continue to wash their hands and change their gloves during the procedure. Check they wash their hands and change their gloves if they leave the room. Proper hand-washing and appropriate use of gloves helps to protect the technician and yourself from infection.

See permanent make-up on NHS website.